Research Article

Urban hypothermia: preferred temperature and thermal perception in old age.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 17 January 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:175
  1. K J Collins,
  2. A N Exton-Smith,
  3. C Doré


    A study of 17 elderly men and 13 young adults of similar body build and wearing equivalent clothing insulation (0.8 clo) showed that when given control over their environment the elderly preferred the same mean comfort temperature (22-23 degrees C) but manipulated ambient temperature much less precisely than the young. Slow adjustment of ambient temperature was related to some cases to a higher temperature-discrimination threshold. These findings suggest that both physiological and behavioural changes contribute to the increased vulnerability of old people in cold conditions.